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Kelly Pearce

Graduate Research Assistant
Kelly Pearce
Graduate Research Assistant
Appalachian Laboratory


Kelly Pearce is a PhD Candidate at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, based at the Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, Maryland. Her primary research interests include the integration of social and ecological sciences, including the field of human dimensions of wildlife and natural resources. Her PhD research is focused on evaluating the ability of the river otter (Lontra canadensis) to serve as an aquatic flagship species for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This study provides novel approaches in combining both social and ecological research in an applied, integrative manner. She serves on the Outreach and Conflict Resolution Task Force as a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group, and presented her research in Singapore at the International Otter Colloqium in 2016.

Kelly is involved in a variety of wildlife ecology projects in western Maryland, including a study focused on assessing the presence of the eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), and a project assessing carnivore interactions at Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) latrines. Additionally, she has assisted with fall swarming and spring emergence surveys to evaluate bat population trends in western Maryland. She was recently awarded "Outstanding Wildlife Student of the Year" by the Maryland/Delaware Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Areas of Expertise

  • Human Dimensions of Wildlife
  • Wildlife Ecology


  • Frostburg State University, M.S., Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology
  • Juniata College, B.S., Wildlife Conservation with a minor in Education

Lab News

Kelly Pearce Presented Outstanding Wildlife Award

Ms. Kelly Pearce was recently presented with the Outstanding Wildlife Student Award by the MD-DE Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Ms. Pearce is a PhD candidate in the Marine Estuarine and Environmental Science Program at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her studies are based at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science-Appalachian Laboratory.

Working the night shift: Scientists seek answers as bat populations change

Listen to a night in the life of our bat scientists in this podcast.

Bridging the Gap: Women grad students talk rise of STEM, power of diversity in science

PODCAST: Women graduate students from UMCES' four laboratories talk about their experiences pursuing a degree in science at a time when more women are joining them in the field. Our conversation includes the rise of STEM learning in early education and the power of diversity of all kinds in science.